WASHINGTON - Hundreds of thousands of people took part in the Salute to Israel Parade on New York City's Fifth Avenue Sunday. Participants danced to the tunes of Hebrew music, waved Israeli and American flags, and carried heart warming posters in support of the Jewish state across the ocean.
The parade was led by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, along with several public officials from the city and the state. Israel was represented by its ambassador to the United Nations, Professor Gabriela Shalev, Consul General Asaf Shariv, Israel's first NBA player Omri Casspi and world boxing champion Yuri Foreman.
Israeli and American flags on Fifth Avenue (Photo: AP)
New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who is considered a leading candidate for the state's next governor, was also at the march, and used the event to kick off his election campaign.
Cuomo, son of former governor Mario Cuomo, marched along with his daughter Cara, the two of them wearing sashes that read "Salute to Israel." Rick Lazio, Cuomo's potential rival, also attended the procession as the two demonstrated their support of the Jewish state.
Dancing to Hebrew music on Sunday (Photo: AP)
Throughout the day, Fifth Avenue was flooded with marchers carrying Israeli flags, with Hebrew songs playing in the background. The participants marched from 57th Street to 75th Street under heavy security.
An American Jew told the local television station NY1 the march was meant to demonstrate support and pride in the State of Israel, and added that American Jews know how important this is to Israel.
The march was organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council, and attended by Jews from across the nation.
Another event is scheduled to take place Monday night as part of the city's Israel Week, with Israeli singer Idan Raichel and his band to perform before heads of the Christian, Hispanic and African-American communities.